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a pre-tax profit margin of 17. %, she said she would revisit those goals for the pretax profit margins for that unit in mid year once, again, the final acquisition or the last leg of that brokerage unit has been completed. the year over year decline in fixed income commodities and currency trading was down 42%. she said it was due to the very strong first quarter of 2012. that was due to some hejs that had helped put on for its clients. however, she did note on a quarter over quarter basis trading was up. retail activity among the brokerage clients was strong in january and february. it did taper off a little bit in march on concerns about some of the issues we saw. cyprus the big run-up in the market, et cetera. april got off to a slightly stronger start as well. she said ceo confidence when it comes to m and a, she said right now ceos are looking out to the second half of the year. there is concerns about the profit outlook there and that's holding them back a little bit. debt and equity underwriting remain strong. >> thank you, mary. a lot of information you had from that conversati
. you've heard that the first quarter was tough. probably payroll tax impacted more than anything else. and small business is -- and big business for that matter is totally the flux with the obama care act and what it all means. and business is looking at part-time, that you've got to keep people under 30 hours. they don't want to employ more than 50 people. and nobody really knows how this thing is going to work. now, as far as the japanese yen, every major manufacturer in the world has made a strategic decision to produce where they sell. no manufacturer can deal with the volatility in exchange rates. and if you look at where the japanese are today compared to 10, 20 years ago, there is no comparison with let's say 80% produced in north america. so the exchange rate has been dramatically reduced as a factor in our business. and at the moment, i don't see any impact. >> okay, mike, $42. we've been friends a long time. you couldn't tell me at four bucks that that was something i should -- actually, we're not allowed to do it, anyway, but you couldn't have mentioned that back in 2008 or
overwhelmingly to take up a bill that could impose sales tax on all internet sales. today's vote clears the way for debate and attempts later this week. it would then go to the house of representatives. the bill would exempt online retailers with less than a million a year in sales. >>> protesters in san francisco used the annual environmental event as a call to arms. [ drums beating ] >> at the epa's regional headquarters, a diversion crowd of demonstrators spoke out against a variety of problems. they criticized the investigation into last summer's richmond refinery fire and also protested against hydraulic fracking for natural gas. >> we're here to ask the epa to stop the expansion of the toxic wasteland filling our town. >> these people are really frustrated. many of them low-income minority folks from the bay area that feel like there's too much pollution in the neighborhoods. >> the protesters then marched to the state department offices where they stepped up their protests to civil disobedience. the epa administrator said 40 years after the first earth day, the planet is still hurting,
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